Musical Instruments and a Celestial Globe
(2nd half 17th cent.), oil, canvas, 95,5 x 141,5 cm
NG S 1500, National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana
This magnificent, typically Bergamesque still life shows a celestial globe on a table, musical scores and various musical instruments: on the left are a violoncello, a violin, a guitar and three lutes. The composition is completed by a carpet, which covers the table, and a brocade curtain. The musical instruments are painted to look as if they had not been touched for a long time; on one of the lutes there are painted fingerprints in the dust which had collected on the surface.
This painting undoubtedly originally had a pendant with a similar composition, which would have included a terrestrial globe. Rosci surmises that this picture was very probably painted for an aristocratic client from Austria or Eastern Europe, in view of the fact that paintings by Baschenis and Bettera are today in Vienna, in Prague and in Moscow.
Restored: 1962, ZSV, Ljubljana; 1981, Štefan Hauko.
Provenance: Strahl collection, Stara Loka, until 1930; purchased by the Narodna galerija, Ljubljana, in 1930, old Inv. No. 415 (Dutch, 17C?).
Exhibitions: 1930, Ljubljana, no catalogue; 1960, Ljubljana, No. 20; 1983, Ljubljana, No. 19; 1985, Belgrade, No. 14; 1989, Ljubljana, No. 5.
Lit.: Polec 1930b, p. 142, Cat. No. 195 (anonymous, 17C, painting 45 (!) cm high and 93 (!) cm wide; always in Stara Loka); Cevc 1960, p. 21, Cat. No. 20, Fig. 11; Rosci 1971, pp. 61, 63 and 68, note 13, Fig. 143; Zeri [& Rozman] 1983, pp. 112–113, Cat. No. 19, Fig. II and 23; Rosci 1985, III, p. 166, No. 31, Fig. on p. 180, No. 2 (text M. Rosci, painting attributed to Bonaventura Bettera); Zeri and Rozman 1989, pp. 100, 112–113, Cat. and Fig. No. 5.